New Sensation with Joshua Allen, Program Manager at Umatilla Basin Watershed Council

Posted on May 16, 2013


Since ELGL is not a big fan of icebreakers and since we would rather not know what animal you want to be, this blog feature will serve as a means of introducing new members. While you won’t learn about their favorite animal, you will learn about their ideal Sunday morning, which dead people would they FaceTime with, and which song best describes their life.

Name: Joshua Allen

Email: [email protected]

Current PositionProgram Manager of Public Education, Umatilla Basin Watershed Council and AmeriCorps Oregon Resource Assistance for Rural Environments

Education: California State University-Chico, MPA and Humboldt State University, Bachelor’s of Science

Experience: Associate Planner, Trinity County Natural Resources; and Lindsay Creek Project Intern, Redwood Community Action Agency

LinkedIn: Profile

Background Check

Currently the acting Manager of Public Education with the Umatilla Basin Watershed Council in Pendleton, Oregon. The position is a community service volunteer placement with the AmeriCorps RARE Program. My role is to coordinate environmental education opportunities with local high schools to educate students within the watershed about the beneficial uses of the Umatilla River, salmon fisheries, and water quality issues. I also write grants, produce educational materials, and plan public education and service learning opportunities within communities located in the watershed.

In 2012 I received a Master of Public Administration from CSU Chico with a focus upon governmental and nonprofit administration with electives in community planning and politics. The topic of my professional paper was a quantitative and qualitative analysis concerning the public’s participation with local government and how to increase social justice through the implementation of participatory policy. My findings were that a large percentage of citizens such as renters, low to middle income earners, people under 35, and single mothers are not represented at the local level. In my spare time at CSU Chico I volunteered with the American Red Cross as a Disaster Coordinator to garner an understanding of volunteer coordination, community relations, and disaster response.

Previous experience includes employment at the Trinity County Planning Department Natural Resources Division restoring the salmonid fishery of the Trinity River. I also hold a B.S. from Humboldt State University (HSU) in Natural Resources Planning with minors in Geology and Native American Studies. At HSU I was highly active on campus in the Natural Resource Club and Associated Student Council as the College of Natural Resources Representative. My hope is to combine my knowledge with past experience to serve as a dedicated public servant working to make the planet a better place for all.

Q&A

Tell us about three projects that you are working on.

The main project that I am implementing for the Umatilla Basin Watershed Council (UBWC) through RARE is called “Adventure Days” which is funded by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB). This project has many different components with the main focus on coordinating field trips for local high schools to infrastructure sites associated with water quality within the basin. To support these field trips I have been creating educational documentation for students.

These documents are in handout form and have covered the Pendleton Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants as well as a Umatilla River Fishery and Hatchery Summary. I have also completed a Umatilla River TMDL handout that includes a watershed map with subbasins and a landowner engagement handout with the intent to educate riparian landowners about stream stewardship. The most recent document I created, literally as of this week, is a Student Stream Assessment Guide and Survey Record booklet, which will be used for a field lab I have scheduled with Helix High School.

I’m also working on coordinating an upcoming community event for a river clean-up in Pendleton which will be occurring later this month. Due to my term of service with RARE and the UBWC ending soon, I am also shoring up a few public engagement events to raise awareness about the watershed, and writing a grant to allow Adventure Days to continue next year. After all that is complete, my final project will be write up the final grant report for OWEB, and then hopefully start my career elsewhere here in Oregon.

(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to

I want to know I made this planet a better place for future generations.

Describe the inside of your car: 

I drive a 2003 Subaru WRX wagon in sonic yellow which is upgraded to be high performance beyond what the factory provides. As such, I like my car, and try to keep it clean which is hard to do in dusty Eastern Oregon. Though, my dog, a large bull mastiff/rott mix, believes it’s his car, and he has made his mark on the interior with his paws. But I love him anyways and take him for rides when I can; which he enjoys.

Your mentors:

At this point in my life, I can’t say that I’ve had a real mentor, and would like to meet that person to assist in taking my career to the next level.

Most recent concert:

The most recent concert I attended was “The Reverend Horton Heat” in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom. The Rev is an awesome guitarist and his band plays punk rockabilly. The show was extra special, as he had a guest star, Jello Biafra, the once lead singer for the “Dead Kennedys”, and they played a very long set together covering many of his songs. It was a great concert to see two legends!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8oJCm2_RWg&w=560&h=315]

 

If you could only visit five websites for the next year, which ones would you choose?

Regretfully, the first would be Facebook, as it is how I keep in touch with all my friends and family who live hundreds of miles away, where I post pictures about what I’m doing. Why I say regretfully, is due to thinking it is kind of a trendy fad, and the site has/continues to integrate itself in everyone’s lives while reducing personal privacy for corporate earnings.

Though for public engagement and professional use I find it valuable to get the word out. Other sites would be Slacker, NetFlix, Alternativemedia.org, and Project Censored.org.

Proudest career/school accomplishment:

My proudest career accomplishment so far is achieving a Master of Public Administration focusing on local government and nonprofit management with electives in community planning from California State University Chico last year. Being accepted in Oregon RARE is also up there. I’m hoping that these two accomplishments will eventually lead to something greater.

What song best describes your life?

“Idiots are Taking Over” by NOFX.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxIFHde9X1Y&w=420&h=315]

 

If you could FaceTime or Skype with three people either dead or alive, who would they be?

  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Aristotle

Suggest two or three topics for the ELGL annual conference.

  • Proactive governance through public participation
  • How to increase social justice

Favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning: 

Sleep in, drink coffee, and watch cartoons.

Government is…..

Everyone, in essence, it is us, our family, our friends, and our neighbors. Therefore, those of us that are educated and working as public servants have a responsibility to not only ensure efficiency and efficacy, but also work towards equality and justice, and be a bulwark against greed and oppression. We must go beyond just being bureaucrats or decision makers that just get by in our endeavors or agendas and instead engage our neighbors to create better communities.

ELGL is….

New to me and I’m hoping to network with other dedicated public servants working hard to change the way communities interact with local and regional government.

What’s the meaning of life?

“Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning.”
― Henry Miller

Previous Profiles

I’m the co-founder and executive director of ELGL. I love my job. Other things I love: local government, my family, my dog Michael Jordan, sandwiches, naps, books, and skee-ball.

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